A deeply moving and powerful meditation on the origins and authenticity of religious belief and what matters most in our lives, now in paperback.
When he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, James Kugel, one of the world’s leading Biblical scholars, immediately experienced an overwhelming sense of his own smallness compared to a God whose greatness and wisdom is beyond comprehension. He recognized that this same feeling of smallness is expressed in many early religious writings, and in the months that followed his diagnosis, he began reexamining the most basic questions about the origins of religion and its universality.
Weaving reflections on his own struggle with the writings of anthropologists, neuroscientists, and poets, Kugel leads readers from prehistoric religious practices to the religious doubts of modern times, via an amazing array of topics: the eerie starkness of medieval cathedral architecture; the “looming Outside” revealed in African witchcraft; Biblical encounters with angels; and—through it all—the peculiar “sense of smallness” that characterizes how all humans once conceived of themselves.
Kugel’s look at religion is rigorously honest, often funny, sometimes skeptical, but ultimately a deeply moving affirmation of faith in God. Believers and doubters alike will be struck by its combination of objective scholarship and poetic insight—a beautifully crafted consideration of life’s greatest mystery.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
George K. Wilson has narrated over one hundred fiction and nonfiction audiobook titles, from Thomas L. Friedman to Thomas Pynchon, and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards.
What People are Saying About This
"Propounds a stark and challenging thesis, namely that contemporary Bible readers are confronted with two radically different ways of approaching Scripture and that both approaches are impressive and admirable-and fundamentally incompatible. Professor Kugel is a rare master of both approaches.... The journey is fascinating." -The New York Times